Let’s Turn the World Kind is the theme for RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) Week that takes place February 12 – 18, 2017. As educators we can help our students in many ways throughout the special week and beyond! The benefits of teaching kindness in school are endless: caring, compassionate, kind, helpful, respectful, and responsible students and adults can really change the world.
A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON
The phrase, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” was added to a placemat by Anne Herbert in 1982. She based the phrase on. “…random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty.” She later published a book titled Random Acts of Kindness in February 1993 in which she shared true stories of acts of kindness.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation was founded in 1995. The foundation is dedicated to inspiring everyone to practice and spread kindness in their own lives. They provide FREE online resources to encourage acts of kindness across the globe for schools, communities, and every-day experiences.
THE RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS FOUNDATION
The first stop for educators is the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website. You won’t be disappointed! The non-profit foundation believes in spreading kindness throughout schools, communities, and homes. They believe in the power of kindness to change the way people see and experience the world. Once you visit the site, you can sign up (for free) to become a RAKTIVIST (RAK stands for Random Acts of Kindness). As a RAKTIVIST, educators can access free lessons for grades K-12, as well as other resources and the research that supports the Random Acts of Kindness approach with students and adults as well.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is sponsoring #RAKWEEK2017. Educators can prepare to involve their students during the week of February 12–18, 2017. Lesson ideas found on the website can be used during #RAKWEEK2017 and throughout the entire school year. Besides lessons you can also find printable resources such as calendars complete with acts of kindness for each day and classroom posters here. Inspirational quotes are also available to share with students here.
Thirty-five years have passed since Anne Herbert first penned the concept of random acts of kindness. Since then, acts of kindness have been spread time and time again. Some acts are small and may go unnoticed (but felt), and others make a large impact. Many educators strive to encourage random acts of kindness in their classrooms and schools. Resources are quite easy to find with simple Internet and Pinterest searches. A few highlights include:
- Kid President shares how to change the world with kindness in this video. He offers great advice and has a special way to speak directly to children, like himself!
- Orly Wahba is the founder of Life Vest Inside and author of the new book, Kindness Boomerang: How to Save the World (and Yourself) Through 365 Daily Acts. In 2013 Orly Wahba gave a TED Talk titled Kindness. She shared the power of Kindness Cards that she used with her Middle School students as well as highlighted the video she created, The Kindness Boomerang.
- ClassFlow, an interactive lesson delivery system, has an introductory lesson titled Let’s Spread Kindness, in the Marketplace. This lesson is free and can be used to help students learn more about Random Acts of Kindness and the concept of Pay It Forward. It includes the film (The Kindness Boomerang) created by Orly Wahba described in the TED Talk mentioned above.